Zoolight Safari 2013

We love going to the zoo for Zoolight Safari.  It’s usually pretty cold, but we bundle up and tough it out.  New this year, they brought in a large Christmas tree and have a nightly tree lighting.



The girls love visiting Santa here.  I thought Samantha might be over her fear of Santa, but no.  She likes Santa at the zoo, but when Santa came to school for breakfast a few days earlier, she wanted nothing to do with him.  Ellie was thrilled to be able to share her wish.  The girls each told Santa one thing.  I was impressed that it was only one each.  Samantha asked for a Rainbow Loom, and Ellie asked for a trunk full of princess dresses.  We’ll see if they’ve been good.


And of course, we had to take a ride on the Candy Cane Express.  A trip to Zoolight Safari would not be complete without it.



I have fond memories of Samantha in this pink coat.  In fact, here is one of my favorite pictures from Zoolight Safari 2010.  Brown Baby is posing as an elf.


Happy 5th Birthday, Beautiful Girl!

We had so much fun at the zoo on the Saturday before your birthday.  You were careful to point out that you weren’t five yet, but that we were just celebrating your birthday on that day so everyone could come.  We met everyone outside and then you got to parade in as the line-leader.  You got to pet a tortoise and a ferret and because the zoo was already geared up for Boo at the Zoo, the carousel went around backwards!

On Wednesday, your real birthday, you helped Mommy make your birthday cake.  It was a chocolate Hello Kitty cake with a blue eyes and a blue bow.  We had several little gifts for you but by far the hit was the airplane with real bullets.  🙂

You’ve grown to be such an inquisitive and intelligent little girl.  Mommy and I are so very proud of you.

Independence Day at the Zoo

We headed over to the Zoo for July 4th.  It was hot, but it worked well for us to go in the morning then splash around in the fountains for a while.

We looked at the birds, but skipped the reptiles.  We caught Farley, the sea lion, and his show.

Then we visited the kangaroos and wallaby.  I had walked into the habitat before, so I was hoping to do that again.  The keeper gave us a brief talk, so we just sat and listened.

We looked at the alligator swamp then the elephant quarantine area.  We played in the dung beetle playground.  (Oh, like you haven’t done that before.)  We stopped at the elephant sprayer for a quick refresher.  At this point, there was some “Mom, do I have to?” going on.  Oh yes.  It’s almost here.

And finally, we hit the fountains.

Because we’re members this year (we alternate between the Zoo, and the McWane Center), I don’t feel bad about going for an hour and a half and only seeing a few animals.

Zoolight Safari

It’s Sunday evening.  Sam is asleep and Ellie should be asleep.  It’s dark outside and it’s almost Christmas.  We realized that we had not taken the girls out to see Christmas lights.  Janie had the brilliant idea to go to the zoo.

Right now the Birmingham Zoo has “Zoolight Safari“.  I’ve never seen so many Christmas lights and decorations in one place.  Yes, there even was an entire 12′ by 12′ winter wonderland.  They had two snow-making machines near the entrance and since it was 38º, it stuck.  Most of the animals were not available, but the petting zoo was still open and it’s always a hit with Sam.  We got in free since we’re members so we just had to buy tickets to ride the train and carousel.  Both were quite decked out as well.  There was lots of music going and some of the lights were synchronized to the music.  Janie and I had Shazam going for several of the songs.

You should have seen Samantha.  She RAN everywhere and wanted to do everything.  Well, almost everything.  She wasn’t too keen on seeing Santa Clause (who by the way was sitting on a rather spiffy Zebra fabric chair).

Here Janie and “Baby” are posing as elves.

Ellie was a good sport all night (and never took that nap).  I guess she had plenty to look at.

Some of the decorations.  I was planning on making a panorama with Hugin, but my hands were too shaky.

Jingle Bell Carousel.  Check out the video.  Sam finally spotted me about the fourth time around and from then on yelled “Daddy!  Daddy!”

The Train Ride.  This is a big deal since Sam has been very weary of riding the train lately.

We plan on going back next week.  Anyone else want to come?

The Last 2 Weeks

Samantha went to her Nana and Papa’s house last week.  She spent 4 nights/5 days away.  It was sure quiet around here.  I was glad for the break, but so glad to have her back.  I thought I would get so much done during that week, but Ellie decided not to cooperate.  She has decided that 4 o’clock (both AM and PM) are her trying times.  Oh well.

We didn’t have any plans last Saturday morning, so I asked Sam what she wanted to do.   She wanted to go to the zoo.  Since we’re members, but haven’t been since before Ellie was born, I thought it was a great idea!

Samantha took a nap that afternoon, and continued to take a nap all this week!  Yay!  I think it was because her room wasn’t so bright and hot.  The weather earlier this week was dark and damp, so it must have been easier to sleep.  Today broke the streak though.  I think 6 days was a great run!

In the midst of that though, I got a stomach bug.  Ew.  I was out of commission for about 24 hours.  Brian did a great job keeping the girls away from me in the midst of his busy work week.  Thanks!